Socialist Worker

LSE Ideas at centre of Britain's relationship with Libya

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2242

A key link in the complex relationships is the LSE Ideas centre. None of the Libyan cash ended up there, but it is nonetheless an interesting establishment.

It describes itself as calling on the university’s “intellectual resources” to study international affairs.

Its advisory board’s chair is former Washington ambassador Sir David Manning who was with Tony Blair when George Bush told him that he intended to invade Iraq.

He now works with weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin.

Also on the board is Jonathan Powell, who was Blair’s chief-of-staff and Baroness Symons, a former foreign office minister.

She stepped down from Libya’s National Economic Development Board last week—just 24 hours after she spoke about Gaddafi’s “sound ideology”.

Perhaps most significant is the spy and consultant Mark Allen who has orchestrated everything from the Libyan oil deal to Saif’s PHD.

Saif Gaddafi thanks Tony Blair

As well as spies helping him with his homework, Saif Gaddafi could always call on the British prime minister. His thesis quotes Tony Blair. A footnote explains, “Comment from Tony Blair in private communication with the author.”

Saif's sense of humour

When Saif Gaddafi gave a lecture at the LSE he said Libya was the most democratic country on earth.

“In theory!” he added—to the wry amusement of his well-heeled audience.

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